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Why outsourcing IT expertise could be a big mistake

Guest entry by Federal Computer Week Editor-In-Chief John Monroe

As tempting as it sounds, federal agencies cannot afford – literally – to rely on contractors for technology innovation, at least according to one contractor.

In a recent blog post, we noted that we had received numerous reader comments in recent months that suggested that federal agencies could not afford to compete with the private sector for cream-of-the-crop IT talent.

This raises the question of whether or not agencies would be better off to stop trying to compete and simply rely on contractors to fill the gap.

But that would be a costly mistake, the contractor replied.

“Being a contractor, it's odd for me to say this, but bringing in more contractors is totally the wrong thing to do,” wrote the anonymous contractor. “They cost [twice as much as a] government employee, they generally are beholden to their company first, and the customer is generally an afterthought.”

Rather than ponying up that money for contractors who come and go, agencies would be better off getting serious about hiring IT talent – and about paying for it, the reader said.

Posted on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:18 PM


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